CATH NEWS REPORT- Catholics should write to their Federal MPs in support of traditional marriage, in response to a recent Federal Parliament motion that asked members to gauge constituents' views on how to achieve equal treatment for same sex couples, reports The Catholic Weekly.
Parishioners have been invited to sign a petition, in a campaign backed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which requests their local Federal MP to "protect the unique institution of marriage as traditionally understood and actually lived as the complementary love between a man and a woman."
The campaign, jointly co-ordinated by The Knights of the Southern Cross, the Catholic Women's League, and the Sydney archdiocese's Life, Family and Marriage Centre, calls on all Catholics to "have their voices heard".
Petition forms were sent to all parishes last week with the campaign having the support of the Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, and reflecting the wishes of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at their recent plenary meeting.
A letter co-signed by The Knights of the Southern Cross, the Catholic Women's League, and the Sydney archdiocese's Life, Family and Marriage Centre, read: "Over the summer parliamentary break, Members of the House of Rep resentatives have been asked to "gauge their constituents' views on ways to achieve equal treatment for same sex couples including marriage."
This is a direct challenge to the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman and calls for an urgent response from the Catholic community.
"The petitions need to be returned to your Federal Member of Parliament at their local electorate office preferably by Monday, December 20."
Chris Meney, director of the Life, Marriage and Family Centre, said: "We know that marriage is likely to be debated next year in Federal Parliament and that MPs will report back to the Parliament their constituents' views on marriage.
"It is vital that we encourage MPs to affirm the unique meaning and value of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
"We hope they will be able to say that they have heard a strong and positive message about marriage from the Catholic community in their electorates."